Monthly Archives: September 2011

Writing: My First Billboard Byline

Jay Fingers Writes For Billboard

This is a small thing. A minor event. And still, it’s a major triumph for the kid.

Last Thursday, I attended Christina Milian’s 30th birthday party at Kiss in Fly. But I wasn’t there to party, get drunk, and shake my ass — no, no, I was there to work. I covered the event for Billboard‘s Backbeat section and, three days after turning in my piece, it finally appeared on their website.

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Books: Taking Control by Kimberly Mullican

Taking Control by Kimberly Mullican

Author Kimberly Mullican has recently released her newest book, Taking Control. A mishmash of different genres, Taking Control is the story of Kat Trueblood, a genetically engineered medium and former CIA agent who’s finally settling down in a stable job, stable (lesbian) relationship, and spending time with her best friend Grant, who just happens to be a ghost.

Life for Kat is just peachy keen, right? Well …

In denial about missing the action of her former life, Kat’s thrust head first back into it when the Russian mafia – the same guys who raped and tortured her for two weeks during active duty – targets her and her family. The CIA forces her to choose between working with the FBI to catch a serial killer who is slaughtering area drag queens or leaving her family at risk.

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Video: Calvin Harris – “Merrymaking at My Place”

This is the song I’ve been singing and humming all weekend. Why? Who knows? Who cares? It’s a definite jam.

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Humor: With and Without The Oxford Comma

With and Without The Oxford Comma

Who doesn’t like a good grammar joke?

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Music: Wolf at the Door – American Castles Kickstarter Campaign

Wolf at the Door

Tennessee rocker Gene Priest just dropped his Breathe In, Breathe Out EP for free at Lapdance Academy, but already he’s thinking of the next project.

His Knoxville-based outfit Wolf at the Door is working on a new set of tunes, for their upcoming album American Castles, and their goal is to press physical copies for their fans. A few days ago, the band launched their Kickstarter campaign to help raise the funds necessary to make this goal a reality. As of this writing, they’ve raised just over a third of their goal of $1750.

“In donating to help us out we are offering not only a guaranteed copy of the album, but many other really cool items from the band,” Gene states on the Kickstarter page. “Please help be a part of our very first EPIC release, which in turn will also make you epic.”

Donations can start at a dollar, and rewards range from the promised physical copy of American Castles to original poster art to instruments used by the band. If you donate enough money, the band will record and include a custom-tailored song for and about you, and they will even hold a performance in your town.

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Music: Ladyhawke – “Paris Is Burning (Cut Copy Remix)”

I know nothing about Ladyhawke. But I do like this song, which was included on a DJ Kiss mix I got a few years ago.

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Book: The Art of Emcee-ing by Stic.man of dead prez

The Art of Emcee-ing by Stic.man of dead prez

Award-winning MC, songwriter, and producer Stic.man (of dead prez) recently released his book The Art of Emcee-ing. Its tagline states that it was “written by an emcee for emcees.”

It includes tips on beating writer’s block, mastering different flows, improving one’s live performances, and straightforward advice on taking one’s music career to the next level.

The Art of Emcee-ing is the first book of its kind. This is not a book about the history of rap. Nor is this a book about who’s who in the industry. This book is about the art, science and techniques of emcee-ing. It gives u a step-by-step instructional guide on learning to create, write, record, publish and profit from your own songs.

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